There are amicron leads us closer to collective immunity against COVID-19?
Experts say it is unlikely that a highly transmissible option – or any other option – will lead to herd immunity.
« Herd immunity it’s an elusive concept and doesn’t apply to the coronavirus, ”says Dr. Don Milton of the University of Maryland School of Public Health.
Herd immunity is when a sufficient number of the population is immune to the virus and the germs find it difficult to spread to those who are not protected by vaccination or previous infection.
For example, a herd’s immunity against measles requires that about 95% of society be immune. Early hopes for collective immunity against the coronavirus disappeared for several reasons.
One is that antibodies produced from available vaccines or pre-infections decrease over time. Although vaccines provide strong protection against serious diseases, reducing the number of antibodies means that it is still possible to become infected – even for those who have been infected.
Then there are the huge differences in vaccinations. In some low-income countries, less than 5% of the population is vaccinated. Rich countries are struggling with vaccine fluctuations. And young children are still not eligible in many places.
As the virus spreads, it mutates, helping the virus survive and creating new variants. These mutants – such as omicron – can better evade protecting people from vaccines or previous infections.
The population is moving to a “resistance herd” where infections will continue, but people have enough protection to prevent future jumps from being so devastating to society, Milton says.
Many scientists believe that COVID-19 will eventually become flu-like and cause seasonal outbreaks, but not huge spikes.
The AP answers your questions about the coronavirus in this series. Send them to: FactCheck@AP.org. Read more here:
Is it possible to get COVID for a long time after infection with omicron?
How many times can I reuse the N95 mask?
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed without permission.